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Dennis Shulman is the Democratic nominee in the 2008 congressional elections for the 5th Congressional District (map) of New Jersey. He is the Democratic nominee seeking to challenge incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.).
After winning the Democratic primary on June 3, 2008 , Shulman, a blind, internationally-recognized clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and ordained rabbi, has received significant support and funding, as well as local and national press, for his unorthodox campaign.
In recognition of the excitement being generated by Shulman's grassroots efforts to unseat the ultra-conservative incumbent Scott Garrett, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified New Jersey's Fifth district on its slate of emerging races for 2008.
- 1 Positions, record and controversies
- 2 Bio
- 3 2008 elections
Positions, record and controversies
Shulman supports a "realistic plan to bring our troops home and return control of Iraq to the Iraqis." Shulman believes "America’s fighting men and women should not be in the middle of what has sadly turned into Iraq’s Civil War." Specifcally, Shulman supports "a phased redeployment of our armed forces out of Iraq that will bring our troops home safely and soon."
Shulman believes that "keeping Americans safe is one of the most important responsibilities of Congress." He supports fully implementing "all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, especially granting Homeland Security assistance strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities so that the assistance goes to the places that need it the most." He insists "we must take sensible steps to effectively secure our borders and protect our ports." Shulman asserts that "George W. Bush and Scott Garrett thrust our nation into an ill-conceived and mismanaged war in Iraq and now Osama bin Laden is still at large." In response, Shulman says he "will work to bring an end to the war in Iraq and bring our focus back to catching Osama bin Laden and fighting al Qaeda."
Shulman believes "America has a moral responsibility to ensure all citizens have access to quality healthcare." He says "this is an issue so immense that we must resolve it together — Democrats must work together with Republicans to bring healthcare benefits to the 45 million Americans that have no health care coverage." Additionally, Shulman believes it is "critical that we make investments in medical research to find cures that will alleviate suffering and help people live healthier and longer lives." Shulman also supports federal funding for stem cell research.
Shulman believes "members of Congress are elected to serve the public interest, and must be held to high standards of ethical behavior." Therefore he supports "reforms that will put an end to secret lobbyist meetings that give corporations like Enron and Haliburton special no-bid contracts." Lastly, Shulman pledges he "will never vote [himself] a pay raise." 
The Middle East
Shulman says he supports "the goals of stability, security and peace for all those who live in the Middle East." He believes the "Bush administration failed to devote necessary attention to the Middle East peace process, and by instead embroiling the U.S. military in Iraq, has damaged U.S. standing and leverage in the region." Shulman argues that the "United States must now work to encourage moderate voices in the region, on all sides, and reclaim its role as an honest broker in negotiating a just and lasting peace." Shulman favors a "strong U.S. relationship with Israel" and supports "a two-state solution in which two autonomous democratic nations live side-by-side, and Israel is secure."
Shulman says he "will never stop fighting to make sure we fulfill our obligations to those who have served our country." Shulman believes that it is "immoral and irresponsible" that "New Jersey’s Armed Forces Reservists and members of the National Guard are not currently guaranteed health care under the Armed Forces Tricare coverage upon returning from Iraq." In response Shulman vows "he will fight every day to ensure that all of our veterans receive guaranteed health care." Lastly, Shulman says he will "lead the charge to ensure that the tragedy at Walter Reed does not happen again" and "will propose legislation that makes health care for all veterans a lifetime right."
"As a father and a psychologist," Shulman says he "knows how important it is that our schools meet high standards and help students achieve their full potential." He will "support smaller class sizes, expanding access to high quality early childhood education and more support for college or vocational training. Additionally, Shulman believes that "unfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind have forced teachers to teach only for the test and caused the higher property taxes that we see in our communities." Also, "as a professor," Shulman knows "how important it is to make college more affordable" and will therefore "work to achieve this for the families of Northern New Jersey."
Shulman believes that "Social Security and private pensions are sacred commitments made to working people for a secure retirement. He says he "will fight against any risky and reckless schemes that would destroy the important safety net that Social Security provides to our senior citizens." Additionally, Shulman says he will "fight to make sure that employees get the pensions they have earned."
Shulman is "committed to protecting the environment for our children and their children and will work to ensure energy independence and will support tax credits to encourage investment in renewable sources of energy." Additionally, Shulman plans "to aggressively support legislation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions" and strongly opposes "oil drilling off the New Jersey shore." Shulman says he "will make decisions that are best for New Jersey and will never be so beholden to special interests as to risk despoiling our environment."
Shulman believes "America must get its finances in order." He says he "will work to balance the budget, a step that...is critical to our nation’s financial health."
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1950, the second of three children, Shulman began losing his sight at an early age. Yet, neither he nor his parents accepted that his disability would keep him from excelling at anything he set his mind to. He excelled in his studies and, midway through high school, he sought and won an unprecedented full scholarship to prestigious Worcester Academy. He graduated from the Academy third in his class.
By then totally blind, Shulman gained admission into Brandeis University, a highly competitive liberal arts college in Waltham, Massachusetts. With the support of readers supplied by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, whom he trained in the use of the University library, he managed a full course load. He graduated in the class of 1972 Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. That same year Shulman’s volunteer activities, primarily involving the developmentally disabled, earned him a Special White House Commendation for Outstanding Humanitarian Service and The David Aranow Award for Outstanding Achievement in Social Welfare.
Shulman’s next move was to Harvard University where he began work toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice. Just two years into the program Shulman won a Training Fellowship from the National Institute for Mental Health and married his college sweetheart, medical student Pam Tropper. Also in that period, he began what has become an extended series of teaching positions, professional publications, postdoctoral studies and speaking engagements.
In 1979 Shulman opened his practice in psychoanalysis in New York City. Two years later, he moved to New Jersey (first Harrington Park and then Demarest) and received his license to practice here in 1982. In 1990-91 he served as senior content designer and on-air lecturer in the PBS series “The World of Abnormal Psychology.”
In 1997 he was the founding director of the National Training Program in Contemporary Psychoanalysis at The National Institute for the Psychotherapies, at which he continues to serve. The National Training Program was Shulman’s creation. It is unique in the world of psychoanalytic training institutes attracting students (psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers) from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Meanwhile, in the mid 1990s Shulman began to explore the connections between psychology and religion, discovering wisdom in the Bible that can inform contemporary life—“Taking the Bible not literally, but seriously” he explains. Ultimately, Shulman felt a strong calling and took up study for the rabbinate. He was ordained in 2003, the same year that saw the publication of his book, The Genius of Genesis: A Psychoanalyst and Rabbi Examines the First Book of the Bible. He now serves as the Associate Rabbi of Chavurah Beth Shalom, a progressive synagogue in Alpine.
Shulman has lived in Demarest for more than twenty years with Pam Tropper, his wife of 33 years, an Attending Physician at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. The couple has two daughters: Holly (age 24) is press secretary for Global Trade Watch in Washington, D.C. and Juliana (age 20) is in her Junior year at the University of Chicago.
Money in politics
Committees and affiliations
Shulman will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.
More background data
Dennis Schulman for Congress
PO Box 3
Demarest, NJ 07627
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- 2008 U.S. congressional elections
- Portal:New Jersey and the U.S. Congress
- Rachel Kapochunas,“Lautenberg Gets Incumbent Nod in New Jersey Primary”, “CQ Politics”, June 4, 2008
- "Dennis on the Issues," Shulman for Congress website.
- Shulman for Congress. Retrieved on 2007-10-06.
- 2008 Race Tracker page on New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District
- Shulman for Congress
- 2008 Race Tracker page on New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District
- Shulman for Congress, Official Campaign Website
- Dennis Shulman, Professional Website
- Dennis Shulman, Curriculum Vitae
- The Genius of Genesis